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Wardynski & Partners Successful for Polish Blogger in Libel Case

Wardynski & Partners Successful for Polish Blogger in Libel Case

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Wardynski & Partners, acting pro bono, has successfully represented blogger Lukasz Kasprowicz, from the Polish town of Mosina, in a criminal libel case that reached the Supreme Court of Poland.

According to Wardynski & Partners, "starting in 2008, Lukasz Kasprowicz published a blog in which he criticized the actions of Mosina’s mayor, Zofia Springer. The mayor accused him of criminal libel (Art. 212 of the Criminal Code). In 2011 the District Court for Poznan-Stare Miasto convicted Kasprowicz and sentenced him to ten months of unpaid labor, exemplary damages of PLN 500, a one-year ban on practicing the profession of journalist, and an apology."

According to the firm, "the judgment was overturned by the Poznan Regional Court, which discontinued the case due to the negligible societal harm of the offense. But the Supreme Court of Poland granted cassation appeals by the accuser’s counsel and twice remanded the case for reconsideration. Finally, in 2014 the Poznan Regional Court discontinued the proceeding conditionally for one year and ordered Kasprowicz to pay a fine to the Victim Support and Post-Penitentiary Aid Fund. The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights filed a complaint against this decision with the European Court of Human Rights, alleging infringement of Art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of expression). In 2020, after the Polish government admitted to an infringement of the freedom of expression and promised to pay Kasprowicz compensation of EUR 3,000, the ECtHR removed the case from its docket."

Finally, Wardynski & Partners reports, "with support from our law firm, the national proceedings were reopened, and in September 2020 the Poznan Court of Appeal acquitted Kasprowicz. Counsel for the private accuser then sought review of that judgment by the Supreme Court. On 16 April 2021 the Supreme Court decided to uphold the judgment of the lower court. Thus, ten years after the original conviction by the court of first instance, the blogger from Mosina was exonerated with legal finality.

The Wardynski & Partners' team included lawyers Artur Pietryka, Lukasz Lasek, and Aleksandra Polatynska.

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